This performance has been commercially released on Road Trips: Volume 3, Number 2
Truckin', Bertha, Playin' In The Band, Deal, Jack Straw, Loser, Beat It On Down The Line, Dark Star-> El Paso-> Dark Star-> Casey Jones, One More Saturday Night Me & My Uncle, Ramble On Rose, Mexicali Blues, Brokedown Palace, Me And Bobby McGee, Cumberland Blues, Sugar Magnolia, You Win Again, Not Fade Away-> China Cat Sunflower Jam-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Not Fade Away, E: Johnny B. Goode
SBD>MR>C>D>CD>EAC>SHN (patched with slightly degraded SBD, also listed with one cassette generation in the lineage);
complete show; Thanks to Michael Dixon & Chuck Kiefe; edits/encoding by JCotsman
SBD>MR>C>D>CD>EAC>SHN (patched with slightly degraded SBD, also listed with one cassette generation in the lineage)
I'm kind of split on this Road Trips release - I've heard it and it sounds fantastic, but they sliced up 11/14/71 and bumped it off the archive. Always a bad move, guys. Keep the shows together or else leave what's left up for us to enjoy. Fortunately, this show survived intact if you're into buying official releases - this is masterful '71 -
Set 1 - everything's very solid, but of course everyone's abuzz about the Dark Star weirdness in the first set - they drift into El Paso not once but twice, finally latching onto the jam and abruptly returning into Space and then a full-on jam on varying themes.
Set 2 - unusual - no real "bust-out" suites here - everything just builds very gradually, one on top of the other, until it lets itself totally loose in that first NFA Jam - wow, this is red-smokin' hot stuff! The only track that seems absolutely out of place here is Hank Williams' You Win Again deep, deep into the set - it just seems absolutely wrong - from that brilliant Sugar Magnolia you can one-up it by going right on over to NFA -
January 11, 2010 Subject:
Okay, Let's Play the Correction Game!
"Those chords are called A major. And all Weir is doing is sliding up from Ab to A. He isn't playing Sugar Mag though. It may sound like it, but he is just comping behind a solo and plays a Sugar Mag like riff. That doesn't mean that we need to write Sugar Jam down, especially when it is only about 4 measures. These people drive me crazy..."
Well Sedula, I really hate to do this, but it isn't an A chord, nor a slide from an Ab chord to an A in this recording sir...It's Called an E Chord. He plays a slide from Eb to E...no need to rain on someone's party if they want to call it the Soap on a Rope Chord in the Syrupy Seraphim Medley Jam...heck, let them!
Oh yeah, and say something nice about Donna this week too. ;-)
August 29, 2009 Subject:
Sungar Mag Chords?
Groton Hollow Said: "reviewer failed to mention/notice that just prior to the China Cat riff in NFA Bobby-boy strikes a few of the Sugar Mag chords for good licks"
Those chords are called A major. And all Weir is doing is sliding up from Ab to A. He isn't playing Sugar Mag though. It may sound like it, but he is just comping behind a solo and plays a Sugar Mag like riff. That doesn't mean that we need to write Sugar Jam down, especially when it is only about 4 measures. These people drive me crazy with reading way too much into a made up jam!! Some jams are just that...and there are only a finite number of chords, especially in "Rock & Roll". So Weir cannot play all night with hitting a A like that. He does the same tpe riff on A in Goin' Down The Road. Thats just how he played back than...which is much better than he played in the late 80's and early 90's. His sound just got caustic and abrasive and he used that whammy bar WAY too much!!
August 28, 2009 Subject:
and Sugar Magnolia too
reviewer failed to mention/notice that just prior to the China Cat riff in NFA Bobby-boy strikes a few of the Sugar Mag chords for good licks
March 13, 2009 Subject:
I live in Austin. The hall was like a big Quonset hut. All tin. I saw Springsteen there in 78 ? 79 ?
Contrary to what some may say or remember the Dead never played the Armadillo. Some of them (Jerry and I think Billy) showed up for a Doug Sham show.
Garcia played the Armadillo and so did Legion of Mary.
They tore down Municipal about 4 years ago.
K boy from Texas
May 19, 2008 Subject:
I know many people have raved about the NFA that went down on this night in the "center of the world," and allow me to join this group. But specifically, I want to focus on one of my favorite moments of the jam, at 3:59, when Bobby finds, in the midst of his beautiful higher-register rhythm jamming, that classic riff from China Cat! You know the one that I'm talking about, don't you. Of course you do. Anyway, he plays it for a measure or two, and before then nobody, even you, don't hear it. It just creeps in and then you suddenly look around in bewilderment, as though someone has played a joke on you, because they're playing China Cat Sunflower! Out of Not Fade Away! Quickly, however, you realize that it was only a tease, a small tidbit for the masses, as they dissolve the theme into a gushing, warm, clear, rivery jam that chases you from the bottom of a grassy valley to the top of a majestic, rocky mountain, and back again! Before you know it, Jerry is bringing in the GDTRFB with those fingers of his and your mind, or what is left of it, anyway, is tossed gently from the eagle's wings into the flowing air. Welcome home.
June 8, 2007 Subject:
Dark Star > El Paso
On hear, its pretty sweet. the most famous version and of it and dark star alone into el paso is from 8/27/72
October 2, 2005 Subject:
Holy Dark Star, Batman
Anyhow, I was introduced to the 11-15-71 DS>El Paso>DS this week. Now going on listen number 25 of the week, all I have to say is, Where the sam-hell have I been? I'm flummoxed that I have been missing out on this gem and I fear that some of you might be to!? So, here is a review, my first in a long time:
This Dark Star has an achingly beautiful, emotive quality to it. It's has almost a 72' sound, sans Donna. Pre-verse one has Bobby us all over the place, battling with Phil for who can play the odder time signature. Jerry is just slithering along at a snake-like pace that enables Keith to really dig on and start to feel at home in this here rock n' roll band.
First verse features some nice vocal work for Jer, with a dissolve into a jam that precedes El Paso.
The enchanting, almost gallop like pace of El Paso is introduced with Keith plowing ahead and leading the band! It's like he was always there, as Jer picks up on Keith's work, hops on and readies to throw a nasty-change-up at the audience (I'm sure). Yet, the band doesnt segue, because they still have the second segment of the jam to introduce before going cowboy. Cue the sheer, unadulterated bliss stemming from all members of the band. The boys are hooked the F*#$ up, so much so that by the time they slam into El Paso, they are so overwhelmed with orgiastic joy that it is almost difficult for them to play this tune at a semi-normal pace. You hear Bobby trying to slow down the vocals throughout the entire song, but Jer and Phil are having none of it! I love it!
Just when you though we were still on planet earth, out of the last strains of the ferociously formidable version of the Marty Robbins classic, comes an eerie, eerie 72' like chaos section, only not quite as terrifying as those. It maintains little focus, but still packs the fury, by features a meltdown (tiger jam?) jam from Jer, that the audience will, from this point forward encounter on a nightly basis.
Thought we were done? NO--Out of this, comes my personal favorite segment of the DS. It almost sounds like a Caution at first, then it boarders on sounding like the Eleven, but only if it was artificially inseminated by Caution!
Now, I'm spent. If you read the whole thing youre probably aware of my mental condition, GratefulDeadverticulitis, which I imagine you too might harbor as well. Maybe you should get tested?
June 21, 2005 Subject:
I agree with the highlights mentioned previously, but also don't miss the Playin' and Sugar Mags. Playin' has some intense jamming, as it begins to stretch out a little toward its '72-'74 heyday, and the pre-SSD jam in Sugar Mags is simply awesome. The interplay between Jer and Bob is amazing and very clear in the mix -- it sounds like they could go on with that jam all night if they wanted to. The NFA>Jam>GDTRFB>NFA is stellar, with an achingly beautiful version of the AWBYG coda on GDTRFB. Don't let the minor patch source issue trouble you, because the music will take you right past caring.
June 6, 2005 Subject:
Hot Stuff Indeed!
This is well worth the download. Other than the few short bits from a different source, the sound is great. The sound of Garcia's guitar reminds me of the Skull and Roses recording. I thought the overall mix was really good. You can hear every note that Bobby is playing, Phil is thundering, Bill never misses a beat(wish he was just a little higher in the mix) and Keith is just sparkling in the background (almost with a honkytonk sound... let's face it he was the best).
What everybody else already said about the highlights is true but listen to this the first time through with headphones and check out a stellar version of Mexicali (with Jerry and Keith havin' a ball..check out that intro), really nice versions of Brokedown Palace and Bobby McGee, and Cumberland is a beauty.
I'm really givin' it a 5 just for the great NFA-JAM-GDTRFB-NFA but I enjoyed the whole show. This is definately one you'll want to play loud.
March 7, 2005 Subject:
Oh, this show is so good! From the starting "Truckin'" till the end this one is just incredible! If you doubt, check out "Jack Straw" or "Loser", both incredible versions! No, the sound ain't crystal clear, but that's just good!
It's warm, smooth and ragged like your favorite woolen carpet.
The first real, real highlight is, as mentioned by the other reviewers, the "Dark Star > El Paso > Jam"! The next giant highlight is, as also mentioned by many, the "NFA > multi-jams > GDTRFB > NFA" - and everything in between those peaks is very fabulous, yes. And yes: if my memory serves me right, the "Brokedown Palace" is also very very nice, especially if you're listening to it while taking a walk late at night. All of disc 2 fits for a late-night-walk i think. First it brings you up, then mellows you down, and then back up on the top!
January 15, 2005 Subject:
Don't Miss This!
Another lost gem from the fall of 1971 when the Dead were playing as a 5 piece - Phil, Billy, Jerry, Bobby and Keith. Very tight ensemble playing throughout this show, and a nice song list. With the absence of Pigpen, new songs like Jack Straw and Ramble On are added to the sets, plus a great version of Brokedown and a blazing rendition of Cumberland.
They only gave us 8 Dark Stars in 1971, shorter and less explorative than before or years later. But here they don't waste a note. Starting off in a lazy mellow style, the jam picks up the tempo with a fast rollicking cosmic bluegrass section before landing us in - El Paso of course!
Then it's back to Dark Star for about 8 more minutes of fast and furious blues riffs from Jerry.
The real show stealer however, is the unusual jam out of NFA in Set Two. Beginning on the China Cat motif, it quickly changes to a more rocked-out MLB type jam, then to what almost sounds like Cumberland bluegrass riffs before heading on to GDTRFB. Hot jams for your toasted brain! A rare treat that adds that special flavor to this night.
Soundwise, a handful of songs are patched from a noisy SBD copy, so I hesitate to give this one a 4. But don't let that keep you from DL this gem. The rest of the SBD sounds just fine. A must have for Dark Star fans and your 1971 collection.
Dr. Flashback ;-)
Reviewer:Krabcake O. Canada
December 1, 2004 Subject:
I'd like to agree with a previous review about the quality of this NFA. When I first put this tape in, it was cued a few minutes into this long jam. Having no setlist handy, I had *no idea* what song they were playing. Which is to say that this is not your typical "Bo Diddley" NFA - instead it quickly blasts off into a lightning-fast free jam worthy of the best '72 Dark Stars. The first set Dark Star is cool, but Not Fade Away is the highlight here.
June 23, 2004 Subject:
The beginning of the Golden Era of the GD
Can there be any real doubt that the Golden Era of the Dead's music was Fall 1971 through Fall 1974? This three-year period saw the Dead reach their creative zenith as they crafted an entirely new form of popular music. This show is a great harbinger of what was to come starting in 1972. Cool little first set DS->El Paso->DS. Thank God the Dead movie is finally coming out on DVD, so that the greatest document of this era will be available in digital quality with extra goodies.
June 8, 2004 Subject:
FYI, Pigpen was being treated for liver problems and did not tour with the band in the fall of '71.
He left after the Aug. 26 show and did not return until Dec. 1.
If you don't mind Pig not being there, this is a good show from the earliest Godchaux days.
June 7, 2004 Subject:
If you get this one for anything, get it for the Not Fade Away. It is completely mindblowing. Jerrys playing is crisp and very exact. The rest of the band is definately into it as well.
When I had a tape of this I was always rewinding it back to the beginning of NFA just to hear it all over again. Believe me, the jam is totally insane. Definately one to take out on the highway to do some fast driving.
The rest of the show is great with Dark Star>El Paso>Jam and Cumberland being my favorites. Only problem is that the vocals come in a little faint or distorted at times; thankfully any jamming comes in crystal clear. The patch is decent which was a nice suprise. Only thing, where is Pig? Not a single song sung by him this night. Oh well, cant ask for everything.
Due to the vocal issues and the absence of Pigpen, I'd give it a three but damn the NFA is so hot I'll give it a four! Definately a must have just for that alone!